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How Much Space is Enough?

Dear Sugar--

I have been with my boyfriend for about a year. We had been having a great relationship with the usual few bumps along the road, but things were progressing at a pretty serious rate. He asked me to move with him, and as much as I wanted to and felt ready, I declined at this point because he has a daughter that comes to visit and I explained that I wanted to make sure that she was comfortable with me before we moved in together, a pretty responsible reaction in my mind.


Within three days, he started to become a bit distant and then after a small fight, he asked for some time to sort through things. He said that he has a lot to think about and therefore wanted to have no contact with me. Since then, we have exchanged maybe three text messages over the last twelve days as I am trying to honor his request and give him the space that he needs. I realize that this is a good time for me to regroup as well but I am finding that although it is getting easier to get up in the morning (no stabbing pains in my heart) my feelings for him are remaining the same. I love him. So ultimately my question is this -- when should I give up hope? I am not waiting around for him to call me off the hook, but I am certainly wishing he would. --Hopeful Helen

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Dear Hopeful Helen--

As hard as it must have been to say no to moving in with your boyfriend, I think listening to your gut instinct and looking out for the well being of his daughter was a very selfless act -- you should feel proud of yourself for putting her needs before yours. With that said, it sounds as though your boyfriend's ego is a little bruised by rejecting his offer. Have you expressed to him, clearly, your rationale behind your decision? Did you reassure him it had nothing to do with the way you feel about him or the way you want your relationship to progress? Waiting around for him to walk through your door isn't going to make your wish come true so it's time to be proactive.

My mother once told me, "If you want him, go get him! Tell him everything you're telling me right now or else you will regret it for the rest of your life." While you want to respect the space he needs, make sure that he knows exactly how you feel so he has all the information before he makes any decisions. Tell him that you want to get to know his daughter more before you move in together and make sure he knows your love for him has not changed just because you aren't sharing the same roof.

Once you get everything off your chest, the only think you can do is wait. I know how tedious that can be, but at least you will have peace of mind that you said everything you wanted to say. Good luck to you!

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